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Showing posts from 2014

Which Word Is "The Word"?

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As 2014 draws to a close I have been reading about the yearly rituals of choosing "a word" for 2015. The concept has always intrigued me, but which word is "the word"? The one word that will cast it's spell over the year to come?
I tend to be a realist as well as a bit of  skeptic, and I have never considered choosing a word or words that, almost by definition, would open me up to failure. Something like "lose weight", "be more focused", "creative", "energetic", "productive", "joy-full"? Of course I would like to accomplish all of these laudable things, but I truly dislike diets, find focus where and when I can, creativity is something that, most often, finds me rather than the other way around (ditto for productivity) and being "joy-full" is something that I aspire to every day anyway. For me, 'joy' is my "raison d'etre".
I used to wish for more time, but now that I ha…

Light A Candle Against The Dark

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YULE PEACE by Selena Fox Make Peace on Earth, Make Peace Within At the Suns Rebirth & 'Round the Wheel Again.

This evening I will light a candle against the dark and I will consider the blessings of the light that will soon follow. Perhaps as a bit of an antidote to the rampant commercialism that has become our holiday season, I spent a bit of time this morning reading about the history of Winter Solstice celebrations. This year "holiday" television commercials began with Halloween. Perhaps, before long, advertising will begin on the 4th Of July! As the "season" for gift-giving becomes longer and longer I seem to become less and less excited. Is that reverse psychology at work or is just age?  I have long considered that exchanging gifts at New Years (as they did in centuries past) might be a small way to protest against what I personally feel has become a travesty of the significance of this season of the spirit. Thus far, however, I seem to bend to our mode…

The Calm In Hand Work

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I love sewing at my machine during the day, but after five o'clock I equally enjoy the prospect of doing handwork. I look to enjoying the calming pleasure of simple blanket stitches. This simple stitch somehow manages to look so different depending upon what thread I use. It's a simple fascination!
I have become a fan of Bonnie Sullivan's "Bertie". This little flannel bird and his whimsical antics are just so dang cute! I have "Bertie's Year" which I am working on sporadically and this little project is "Bertie's Winter". The "Winter" version is what I have been working on recently - perhaps logically!
Admittedly, I am not too much of a "cute" kind of gal so it is a bit of a mystery why I am enjoying this hand stitching so much. In the past I have also not been a fan of anything that smacks of "Block-Of-The-Month", but there is, indeed, something to be said for having the pieces already perfectly cut and r…

Hexagons Are Like Potato Chips or How Red Is The New Neutral

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I have to admit that I am a sucker for scrap quilts. I have always loved making them and sleeping under them! Since I divested myself of many bags of fabric last year my scrap box has become considerably smaller, and, let's face it, one person's scrap is another person's fat quarter. My scraps tend to be quite small. 
I have never considered making a hexagon quilt before. The shape has never intrigued me. When Sujata Shah's book, Cultural Fusion, came out I bought it and then I had to have a look at her website where I found her insructions for making her "Organized Chaos" quilt. I can't say that I plan to make "Organized Chaos" as presented, but I have become addicted to making hexagon blocks.  I turned my scrap box upside down and started choosing bits and pieces. Technically one needs pieces that are 2.5" and 2.5" X 4.5". Easy... but some of mt smaller scraps made even those small sizes a challenge to find! Red is my neutral c…

Recent Constuctions

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I have to say that having a break from blogging was beneficial in some ways. I went about me sewing busy-ness with not a thought about documentation. I barely managed to get photos of a lot of things. Of course, that's good and bad!
I finished the quilt in the photo on top. It's from Kaffe Fassett's book, "Shots and Stripes". I had gotten he book and the fabrics for this quilt when I was on Vashon Island for "Camp" last April. It felt great to decide on a project and finish it in the same year! It's being quilted now. I had the material so I did not spend any more on this on! It measures about 79" X 96"  The quilt above was finished and quilted and I am working on the binding now. It's from the book "Making Quilts With Kathy Doughty of Material Obsessions". I used 90% stash fabrics for this quilt. It measures about 96' X 108'. I wanted to use my reproductions fabric stash in a  modern way. I think it worked out well.…

Exciting News !

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I have been absent from the blogosphere for some time. In all honesty, I had/have been struggling about the benefits of blogging. Let's face it. It takes time, energy and effort. Many people seem to want sound bites such Face Book. Although many friends assure me that blogging has not gone by the wayside and that they do read blogs - I was questioning it all. One of my friends even asked if I will ever blog again. So, the answer is yes! I do have some other things to share soon, but this is my biggest news right now and so I want to share the information first
I first met Virginia Spiegel quite a few years ago in Houston when she hosted her very successful "Fiber Arts For A Cause Postcard Fund Raiser". Aside from being a world renowned artist, Virginia has been an energetic fund raiser for The American Cancer Society for many years. To date, she has raised more than $240,000.00 through Fiber Arts For A Cause! 
Virginia attracts the very best works and so, when she contacte…

What September?

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It seems that September passed me by - at least in the blogging sense. One friend said that she had stopped checking in because it had been so long. I plea guilty! 
I have been on a bit of a social networking slow down. It began in early September. When I went on a retreat for a few days in mid-September I inadvertently forgot BOTH my cell phone as well as my IPad (which had all of my knitting patterns on it). I had to borrow a phone to check in with home every day, which was an embarrassment. I think that I can pretty much guarantee that I won't forget my phone again! That weekend set the tone for my media slow down though. I barely glanced at FaceBook or any other social networking site all month. I did not feel as though I was missing a lot though and that surprised me a little. I just found a bit more time in the day to actually work!
Hopefully, these images will show that I was not being a total slug during the month. I imagine that much of this will be old hat news for some …

More Eco Dyeing Experiments

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I have been taking a break from social media and being online. Not totally, but I have cut way back. I found that I was simply spending too much time online and not enough time actually 'doing'. It actually feels good to be a bit more "unhooked" for the time being, although I am certain that the pendulum will swing again at some point. 
I feel as if I lost a good bit of my summer being chair bound for 2.5 months, but I am enjoying playing a bit of "catch up" now! 
The week before last I started driving again, and I felt like a teenager with a newly printed license! I have gained more empathy for elders who no longer can drive. It is not a fun thing to be dependent on people to get every little thing for you all of the time!  I am also deferring my surgery for a bit. The thought of another back surgery is quite 'off-putting' for me and so, until the pain is once again too much, I will wait.
One of the things that I had planned to do at the beginning…

Steeped Bundle Dyed Silk

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Many years ago I purchased these kimono silks from Ah! Kimono. I miss the monthly mailing I used to get! Now I am not sure where to look for vintage kimono silk!
There are two different lengths of vintage kimono silks in the photos. There were  originally white, patterned silks.  Since I have I have become enamored with India Flint's stuff and steep dyeing methods and these two pieces were "canned" with white vinegar, a pinch of rust, and summer time red maple leaves. They were left to cool and "cure" for two weeks. I am quite happy with the depth of color that I was able to achieve. 
I spent today trimming a variety of leaves and doing some "canning".  I am on the hunt for eucalyptus now!



A Chance To Win Lesley Riley's Newest Book!

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As you may have read I was honored, and very fortunate, to have been included in Lesley Riley's latest book, "Creative Image Transfer".

This is a rendition of the personal photograph that I used for the project that is included in the book It's called the "Be Peace" bag.

Lesley is generously offering the chance to win a copy of the book PLUS 5 sheets of  amazing TAP transfer paper !

Just go here for the simple details!

http://www.lesleyriley.com/weblog/?p=2555

Bundle Eco-Dying A La India Flint's Stuff, Steep, and Store Method

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I have been waiting all summer to be able to get down those few steps to my house so that I could gather some plant materials for some eco dying a la India Flint's "Stuff, Steep and Store" methods. Finally, over the weekend, I was up doing a bit of plant gathering, and with surgery just a week or so away, I wanted make haste while the sun shines so-to-speak!
For those of you who may not have heard of India Flint before she is the queen pin of all things bundle dye (my hero of natural dyes is Jenny Dean). Bundle dying is, I believe, more unique, to India.
There are many ways to learn more about Ms. Flint. Her blog, The Prophet of Bloom" is a delight: http://prophet-of-bloom.blogspot.com/
You can find her on FaceBook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/India-Flint/143450949059728
My first awareness of India Flint's work was thanks to my friend Janet, the knower of all things. I love India's book on bundle dyeing, named aptly enough, Eco-Color: http://www.amazon.c…

Birds Galore! Learning to Draw!

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NOTE: To all of my FaceBook friends  -you have most likely seen all of these images on FaceBook.
Although it may seem that I have been quiet on my blog I have been busy taking a wonderful, highly recommended, class from Val Webb about Drawing birds in colored pencil, as well as in a 60 day bird challenge on FaceBook hosted by Kimberley Baxter Packwood. The combination of the two seemed meant to be.
I have never been too fond of using colored pencils. They always seemed like a 'meh' art supply, but thanks to Val Webb I am learning that they are underestimated and offer many more options that I knew of. I am also not a 'drawer' - I have always failed miserably in my attempts before, and so I have taken care to go slowly and learn as much as I can. I am only on lesson 7 now, and my latest project (not shown here) is tackling a birds nest.








Through these images you can see how I progress - or not. I have been learning so much, and it makes me realize how far I have to go. …